Farewell to Conservapedia
I've been an editor here for about a week now. I'm a conservative and a Christian. I came here looking for an alternative to Wikipedia that was more conservative in viewpoint, less biased, more accurate and more credible. There may be such an encyclopedia out there. I'm certain that Conservapedia isn't it.
The short version of my reason for leaving, the straw that broke the camel's back, was that I was blocked for adding examples to the article Deceit. The examples were Richard Nixon, Scooter Libby and Enron. Surely it was a no-brainer that such well-known examples of deceivers on a huge scale merit a mention? Such examples were not appropriate I was told, although lesser examples of deceit were certainly allowed, if they were carried out by Democrats.
The long version is more complicated. So let me take some time to explain what is wrong with Conservapedia - in my opinion of course. You are entitled to your own.
Nobody seems to want to write an encyclopedia
Conservapedia is incredibly sparse. Many articles on major subjects are very small and trivial in nature. England gives almost no idea of the history of the nation, stopping around 1500. Rome gets barely a paragraph.
The main reason for this is clear. Nobody seems to want to actually write encyclopedia articles. Certainly not among the leaders. Instead they seem to spend all their time having debates or attacking biologists or writing pseudo-articles like Liberal bias or Hollywood Values.
Conservapedia has some good rules.
- "Everything you post must be true and verifiable"
- "Do not post personal opinion on an encyclopedia entry"
- "Conservapedia does not censor any facts that comport with the basic rules"
- "We do not allow opinions of journalists to be repeated here as though they are facts"
These are good rules, and would make for a good encyclopedia. The trouble is that all of the above rules are frequently and intentionally broken by those in charge. Sysops and particularly User:Aschlafly frequently make edits that are based entirely on personal opinion, and not at all verifiable. If the journalist in question is a conservative, their views are often cited as fact. Facts are frequently censored if they seem not to agree with the personal views of the site's owner. Explanations for such censorship include "liberal claptrap", and includes removal of facts that are agreed with by 99% of people.
Not only are facts removed if those in power don't agree, but people are blocked from editing if they disagree. My own example is a case in point. If I'm still able to edit a week after writing this, I'll apologize, but don't hold your breath.
A point frequently made by sysops as they revert your changes is that "Andrew Schlafley owns this site and he can do what he likes". That's true, though it's a bad example to be setting. When a national leader takes that attitude we call him a dictator. But more to the point, if Andrew Schlafley wants only his own personal view expressed on the site (and that ppears to be the case) why did he make it a wiki? A blog would have been much better. Feel free to ask him why.
It is obvious from some of the above examples that facts that are not helpful to the Conservapedia cause are simply ignored. If someone adds them to an article they are removed. If someone complains that they have been removed, the complaint is removed. If someone complains that the complaint is removed the editor is blocked. The article Deceit is a prime example; so is Examples of Bias in Wikipedia and Barack Obama. Any of Hollywood Values, Professor values or any similar named article is another good case. Just look at the edit history.
Given how small it is Conservapedia contains a large numbers of inaccuracies. Some I fixed in my time here include "Montreal is the second largest city in Quebec" and "the United Kingdom developed a separate but established church". Others I could not fix: "Britain with its atheistic schools leads Europe in teen drunkeness" (British schools are some of the most religious in Europe). These pages are locked against normal users and requests to fix them drew no response.
So there are my thoughts. I doubt they will remain here long, so read them while you may. I'm not going to edit this mess any further: doing so would only be enabling Conservapedia's dysfunctional dynamic. I will be sending some goodbye messages to a few people. Daphnea
- It's only as long as it is because I wrote much of it